Like many counties in California, Kern County has been seeking solutions to jail crowding and rising probationer numbers. Factors contributing to these problems include double-digit unemployment and low household incomes throughout the county. One way Kern has responded to these challenges is by partnering with BI Incorporated. A recent case study examined the work BI and Kern County Probation have done together, as well as how effectively this partnership has addressed the problems confronting the county’s criminal justice system.
BI and Kern County began working together in 2010. In order to alleviate jail crowding and divert higher risk probationers for additional treatment, the county opened a Day Reporting Center in Bakersfield. The DRC provides evidence-based programming, and it helps the county to manage an influx of AB 109 probationers, individuals referred to county supervision by the state. Adult felony offenders involved in the program are required to regularly report to the center, participate in intensive treatment and training, and comply with ongoing drug and alcohol tests. The offenders also take classes that aim to change criminal behavior and reduce recidivism.
The DRC initially received funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which allowed it to serve 50 offenders at a time. Because the center successfully reduced the rate of recidivism, it received approval and funding in 2011 to expand and serve 100 offenders.
For more information on the success of the DRC and Kern County’s partnership with BI, read the full case study.